Pringle says prime minister’s ‘consultation’ letter is a sham and cries shame on him for his deception

Members of the public are applauding MP Jamale Pringle for
exposing the deception perpetrated by Prime Minister Gaston
Browne and Government Spokesperson Lionel “Max” Hurst on the
matter of “consultation” with the Leader of the Opposition.

Last Friday, February 16, Ambassador Arthur Thomas was sworn in
as chairman of the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission

The law requires the prime minister to consult with the Opposition
leader ahead of selecting an ABEC chairman, and Pringle asserted
that this had not been done.

On Saturday, Akaash Maharaj, ambassador-at-large for the Global
Organisation of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC),
indicated that Pringle could challenge Thomas’ appointment on that

Then, in a thinly veiled attempt to cover up his disregard for the law,
Browne released a letter on Monday, February 19, in which he
purported that there had been consultation between him and

Now, Pringle says the so-called “consultation” letter is intended to
fool the people of Antigua and Barbuda, and he is crying shame on
Browne for perpetrating this deception.
The “sham” letter bears Browne’s signature and is dated February
15, the day before Thomas was officially sworn in as ABEC’s

In the document, Browne advises Pringle of Thomas’ selection as
chairman, and thanks him for having consulted on the appointment,
which he presumes meets the Opposition leader’s approval.

According to Pringle, not only was there absolutely no consultation,
but he discovered that the apparently backdated letter had been
delivered to the Parliament Building on Monday, February 19,
between 3:30 and 4 p.m., by Hurst.
Apparently, in his haste to cover up his legal blunder, PM Browne
also cites the Representation of the People (Amendment) Act, 2010 –
instead of 2001 – “thereby adding confusion to his deception,”
Pringle notes.
Meanwhile, he says, “had he been consulted, as legally required,” he
“would not have supported the selection of Thomas for reasons
already articulated by the United Progressive Party (UPP).”
The UPP is concerned that Thomas’ integrity comes into question
given his two recent resignations – from the Caribbean Union Bank
and the Eastern Caribbean Securities Regulatory Commission – on
account of his association with Sam Bankman-Fried, the convicted
founder of the failed cryptocurrency giant FTX.